Austin-based bridal hair and makeup company LoLa Beauty completed the approval process last Wednesday for a new location inside the Dobie Mall.
Owners and stylists Lauren Parker and Lorena Guadarrama Molano founded the company in 2013 and currently operate out of a salon owned by an associate on West Koenig Lane. Their new location on the Guadalupe and 21st Street building’s second floor will be their first salon in Texas they’ve owned and operated alone.
“We’d been working together for a while, and starting a salon together just seemed like the most natural thing to do,” Guadarrama Molano said. “When we started LoLa, it made so much sense because of the way our work complemented each other.”
Parker and Guadarrama Molano focus on bridal hair and makeup, often traveling to wedding locations, in addition to their studio work. Parker said their business presence would be improved by having their own salon.
“Lo and I have been really lucky to be able to use the location we’re at now,” Parker said. “Without it, we wouldn’t be as successful as we have been so far, but it’s going to be really nice to have our own space.”
The move into Dobie Mall is LoLa Beauty’s second business expansion. In 2017, Guadarrama Molano and Parker opened a location in Denver, a move Guadarrama Molano felt was the pair’s first big risk.
“We’ve both got really strong industry experience, so I knew if we both agreed, we could handle it,” Guadarrama Molano said. “I’m lucky because I have a partner that trusts me the same amount I trust her. When we were talking it out, it felt right, even if it seems a little weird to lay down roots out of state before you can even really get your own space started in your own town.”
Gabrielle Melton, a textiles and apparel senior, thinks any big move for a female-owned beauty company is “a win.”
“It’s no secret that even though fashion and beauty are considered feminine, they’re really male-dominant industries still,” Melton said. “A step up for one group is a step up for everyone.”
While Melton said she has no need for LoLa’s bridal services in her future, she knows other people who might find its close-to-campus location useful.
“Some of my friends are starting to get engaged and have looked at some of those kinds of things with me,” Melton said. “It doesn’t really seem like the kind of things students might need, but even to have a high-quality consultation option close by is really good because not everyone waits until graduation to get married.”
Parker said though she and her partner are getting busy with the coming winter wedding season, they are trying to keep the salon’s opening on schedule.
“This is something we both really want, and … our work in the past speaks for itself on if we get done the things we want to get done,” Parker said. “We have the experience and the drive, and even if it’s going to be difficult, we want to make it happen.”
Guadarrama Molano ultimately looks forward to expanding the reach of the salon in Austin itself.
“We’re both lucky to have the start we did in Austin,” Guadarrama Molano said. “If there’s anywhere we want to have a big presence, it’s here where we started.”